Negotiators for Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) have agreed to a deal for the British company's stake in their U.S. joint venture Verizon Wireless, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Verizon will pay roughly $130 billion for Vodafone's 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless, one of the sources said. The terms still needed to be approved by the companies' boards, but if all goes well a deal could be announced as soon as Monday afternoon, when London markets close. U.S. markets will be closed for Labor Day.
Vodafone's board was meeting Sunday to discuss the deal, and Verizon's board was to meet after hearing the result, the Journal reported.
The acquisition would be the second-largest ever behind another Vodafone deal — the $172 billion acquisition of Mannesmann AG in 1999. It would cement Verizon's control of the biggest U.S. wireless operator. Under the terms, Verizon would pay for the stake in roughly equal portions of cash and stock, one of the people said.
One person familiar with the situation told Reuters the board meeting would be held on Monday morning New York time and three people said this meant the terms of the deal would likely be announced after the London market closes at 11:30 a.m. ET.
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Both the telecom giants declined to comment.
Sources told Reuters on Saturday that Verizon plans to pay for half of the purchase with its own stock. For the rest, it has tapped JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help raise the funds through a mix of bonds and bank loans, the sources said.
The banks have committed to the financing that is expected to be split evenly among the four.
According to Reuters, one person familiar with the proceedings said on Sunday that Vodafone would get $60 billion in cash, $60 billion in Verizon stock, and an additional $10 billion from other smaller transactions that will take the total deal value to $130 billion.